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spirited, dramatic, and pregnant with character. We should imagine the author well acquainted with Spain, and that we had here a faithful picture of Spanish manners drawn from life; but we know not how to reconcile this with the facts of his youth and French birth. We shall only add, that it would be a difficult matter to find a volume of lighter or pleasanter reading, which is not at the same time frivolous, a quality, we hope, not absolutely a necessary ingredient in all our books of amusement; although, judging from the success of many books which possess no other claim, we presume that frivolity possesses charms with our most thinking public, that we wot not of. The translation is very well executed, as we shall show, by quoting the opening scenes of" Woman is a Devil."
SCENE I-A judgment hall in the Inquisition at Grenada.—On a raised part of the floor to the right, and hung with black, are three seats, the middle one higher than the two others. In the back-scene are perceived several instruments of torture, lying confusedly about. Below, and in front of the three seats, are a table and a chair for the Register. The Theatre is dimly lighted.
Enter RAFAEL and DOMINGO in the full costume of Inquisitors.
Rafael. Signor Domingo, I tell you again it is a crying injustice. I have now been an inquisitor of Grenada for seventeen years, during which time I sent twenty heretics every year to the flames-and is it by appointing a beardiess youth my superior, that my lord the Grand Inquisitor recognises my services?
Domingo. This is quite atrocious, and I could tell you nearly as much on my own account. Do you know what all this proves? it proves that my lord the Grand Inquisitor is nothing better than an ass.
Rafael. We know that already; but I did not know till now that he was both fanatical and unjust.
Domingo. And what grave matter of reproach has he against us, after all?
Rafael. I know well what has ruined me in his good opinion-a mere trifle. The story of the little Jewess whom I converted, and who took it into her head to become a mother all of a sudden, got wind, and came to his ears: but, after all, what is there in that so very extraordinary?
Domingo. Moreover, he accuses us, I am told, of not being Christians.
Domingo. Notwithstanding your conversion and its results, I am noted in his tablets in still blacker characters than you.
Rafael. You, probably, figure there as an atheist.
Domingo. No, thank Heaven! but my rascal of a lay-brother, who makes up my room, shewed him the leg of a fowl that he found-I know not how-and in Lent, if you please!
Rafael. Oh, heavens, that is a sad affair!
Domingo. But the worst of all is, that the new inquisitor, whom he has named president of the tribunal, is a demon sent as a spy upon us. And, to add to our misfortune, this odd fellow is perfectly sincere in his belief.
Rafael. No!-you cannot make me believe that!
Domingo. If I do not deceive myself, he is a second Loyola. It is said that he does not yet know of any difference between a man and a woman-Oh! he is a true saint!
Rafael. Zounds! is it thus that our services are to be recompensed? I am in a horrible bad humour to day-would to Heaven I were a Turk! Woe to those who shall be brought before us to day, for I must wreak my ill-humour upon some one. To the flames! to the flames! and again to the flames!-That is my last word.
Domingo. Amen! To day is Saturday, and it is always my habit to condemn of a Saturday-on Mondays I acquit. By that means, if there should be any mistakes, if the innocent should fall on my condemning day, the fault must be with Providence. But, apropos, tell me what has become of your Jewess?
Rafael. She is in the Lying-in-hospital-the little silly slut!
Domingo. Slut enough, in all truth.-(Aside.) And you think that you sent her there, poor simpleton that you are!
Rafael. What's that you are muttering between your teeth?
Domingo. Hush! there's an echo here.-Move away! here comes our saint. (They go to different sides of the hall, and commence reading thesr breviaries.) Enter ANTONIO, in grand costume.
Antonio. My very reverend fathers, we are going to take cognizance of a very important affair, and for which I see you are preparing yourselves. We have to try a sorceress, a woman who has entered into a compact with the devil, reverend fathers. The spirit of darkness has, it is said, gifted this wretched being with supernatural power. But do not be disheartened, the cross that we wear will shield us from the talons of the evil one, should he be able to appear within the sacred walls of the Holy Office.
Domingo. Satan would lose his time here.
Antonio. Alas! reverend father, do not say so. The flesh is weak, the vessel is fragile. Miserable sinner that I am! my only force is in the knowledge of my weakness. A long life passed in sanctity has rendered you invulnerable to temptationbut as for me, I am not only young in years, but also in pious works.-Ah! I shall have great need of your good advice to enable me to escape the rocks and quicksands of life!
Rafael. We have all need of good advice.
Domingo. Warned by each other, we shall resist more successfully the attacks of the demon.
Antonio "Lord, lead us not into temptation!" such is my prayer at every instant of the day. We are so liable to fall. No matter how much the soul may be on its guard, the enemy of mankind is so wily a serpent, that he will make his way through the smallest opening; and one single drop of his venom may grangene a soul for ever.
Rafael (aside.) He has something on his conscience-it must be a curious case.— (Aloud.) To what powerful temptation has God permitted you to be exposed?
Antoni. We have still time before the prisoners shall be brought in, and a sincere avowal of our faults may be a useful preparation for the task we have to fulfil. Listen then, reverend fathers.-I have always thought that the most efficacious instrument of damnation that the evil one can make use of, is a woman. You are of my opinion, fathers. It is less dangerous to meet with an aspic than a woman.
Domingo (with affected surprise.) How! it is a woman that is
Antonio. From my earliest infancy I was brought up in a convent-beyond the wall of which I never strayed. Until six months ago I had never known any woman but my mother, and would to God that I had never seen another of the sex!
Rafael (with affected surprise.) Holy Virgin !—you make me shudder!
Antonio. Satan afflicted me with a grievous malady, that put my life in danger. I prayed to God to let me die in my innocence, but my prayers were not heard-I recovered; and the physicians, to complete my cure, ordered me to breathe a purer air in a little country house belonging to the convent. Emboldened by the solitude of the place, I ventured out alone to take some exercise in the neighbouring fields. One day on returning to the house, my eyes encountered near the door a being whose dress made me suppose it was a woman. This unexpected appearance threw me into such trouble and confusion, that I had not sufficient presence of mind even to close my eyes; bewildered, beside myself, I stood motionless before her, while her image sunk deeper and deeper into my heart. In vain I sought to fly-my feet remained rooted to the earth. Like to a man under the influence of the night mare, I saw the danger, but had neither force to fly it, nor voice to call for aid. I was like a bird under the fascination of the rattle-snake-my blood boiled in my veins-I trembled with affright; and yet, if the comparison be not a sacrilege, I felt that kind of delicious ecstacy that I have sometimes experienced when praying before our holy Madona-a few moments more and I should have dropped dead on the spot. I felt my soul ready to abandon me. I should have died, and died in sin-had not that creature made an effort to approach me. This sudden movement by redoubling my fears, broke the charm-I was able to cry "Jesus!" This holy name unbound me; and I rushed forward with all my strength, and without once looking behind me, until, meeting my confessor, I threw myself into his arms and relieved my oppressed soul.
Rafael (with a profound sigh.) I expected something worse.
Antonio. Satan had not yet done with his victim. I had fled, but I brought away with me the poisoned shaft. Alas! I must confess that it is still in my heart. Neither fastings, prayers, nor mortifications, can drive from my thoughts the image of that woman. K
She haunts me in my dreams—I see her everywhere—her large black eyes, which, like those of a young cat, are at the same time mild and mischievous, are continually before me-even at this moment I see them (he hides his face in his hands.) And must I avow it ?-often when engaged in sacred study, my mind remains insensible to the sublime words of the evangelist; my eyes see, and my lips pronounce the words without conveying their meaning to my understanding, for my whole soul is occupied by that woman. Surely it was such a face that Satan assumed to tempt my ever blessed patron. Great Saint Antony, inspire me with your courage!
Rafael and Domingo. May the Lord be your help!
Antonio. Amen! Why should a miserable sinner be condemned to pronounce judgment on others, when he himself may on the last day be sent into the flames as a backslider? (Long pause.) Let us, however, go through with our task; and painful though it be, let us recollect that man is doomed to pass his life in tribulation-(He takes his seat between Rafael and Domingo.) Register, call on the cause, and let the prisoner be brought in.
Rafael. Why do you shut your eyes?
Antonio. Would to God I were blind! do you know that it is a woman that is to appear before us?
Register. Maria Valdez-come and appear before the tribunal of the Holy Office. [Enter Mariquita veiled, between two Familiars of the Inquisition.]
Antonio (his eyes closed.) Woman, what is your name?
Mariquita. I am called Maria Valdez, but more frequently Mariquita, and sometimes mad-cap. These are all my names and titles.
Antonio (his eyes still closed.) Your age?
Mariquita. That is rather a puzzling question to put to a woman, if you wish her to tell the truth. However, I shall be candid-I am twenty-three years old-if you doubt it, look at me. Do I appear older? (Puts aside her veil.)
Rafael and Domingo (aside.) Gad's life! what a lovely girl!
Antonio (his eyes still closed, and in a low voice.) Avaunt Satan! demon of curiosity, you shall not conquer me! (Aloud.) What is your profession?
Mariquita (hesitatingly.) I know not what the deuce to say-I sing, I dance, I play on the castanets, &c. &c. &c.
Antonio. It is then in those amusements, the names of which, thanks to Heaven, are unknown to me, that you waste a time that you should employ in weeping and repentance?
Mariquita. And why, Signor Licentiate, should I weep and repent, since I have never done any thing bad?
Antonio. Nothing bad? interrogate your conscience!
Mariquita. And what has it to reproach me with? It is true I have committed some little faults, but for which I got absolution last Sunday from the chaplain of the Royal Murcian Infantry. Let me go away, and do not frighten me any longer with your black robes and your
Antonio. Maria Valdez, you say that your conscience is pure; reflect, and do not perjure yourself.
Mariquita. Since I have told you the truth, I hope you will let me go away.
Antonio. Do you know a woman named Juana Mendo?
Mariquita. Do I know her? Certainly; she is one of my friends.
Antonio. Have you never had a quarrel with her?
Mariquita. No!-Ah! stop-Two or three days ago she wished to squabble with me, pretending that I had stolen her lover from her, which was not at all true, Mr. Licentiate. All that was in it was, that Manuel Torribio told her that my beautiful black eyes were much handsomer than her ugly red ones.
Antonio. Her black eyes (putting quickly his hands before his eyes.) Signor Rafael, I beseech you to go on for a moment with the interrogation.
Rafael (after looking over some papers, in a mild tone of voice.) Mariquita, did you not, on Friday the 15th August, pass by the olive plantation of Juana Mendo, while eating a pomegranate?
Mariquita. How should I recollect?
Rafael. Answer, yes or no!
Mariquita. I believe I did.
Rafael (reading.) Did you not throw the kernels into her plantation, at the same time that you waved in the air a wand made of hazle or some other woods, having two ends?
Mariquita (laughing.) And what other way would you have it—with only one end? Having two ends stripped of the
Rafael. Recollect in whose presence you are.
Mariquita. What should I know about all this?
Rafael. Yes or no.
Rafael. Did you not sing an impious song, in which there is frequent mention made of a certain John Barleycorn?
Mariquita (laughing.) Ah, ah, ah! Signor Licentiate, of what are you talking to me? I have sung an English ballad, taught me by a trumpeter of Mackay's regiment, in the army of Lord Peterborough—and, true enough, it is upon the death of John Barleycorn.
Domingo. Who is John Barleycorn? one of the spirits of darkness, perhaps?
Mariquita. Ah, ah, ah! John Barleycorn means a grain of barley; and the ballad tells how they make beer of barley. Let me go, and I will sing it for you, for you have the look of a good-humoured fellow, and are not like that grim one there (pointing to Antonio.)
Antonio. (eyes still closed.) It is difficult to believe that there is not a hidden meaning under this word.
Mariquita. Honi soit qui mal y pense, as is written upon the helmet of Captain` O'Trigger.
Antonio. But how do you account for Juana Mendo's plantation being destroyed by an inundation?
Mariquita (laughing.) How should I account for it?--You had better ask the river Geyar why it overflowed its banks.
Antonio. No, it is precisely from you that I will ask that question. Why did you command it to overflow?
Mariquita. Are we still acting, or have we lost our wits? Do you take me for a witch? Antonio. Thou hast said it.
Mariquita. Mercy on me! if that gruff voice of your's did not make me tremble, I should die of laughing.
Antonio. Your laughter will be changed into weeping-you deny having cast a spell upon the olive trees of Juana Mendo?
Mariquita. How should I know how to cast spells?
Antonio. Every sin may be expiated. Creator, to speak the truth-if you do not Mariquita. Surely, if I were a witch, I should long ago have whisked up the chimney away from you.
Woman, I adjure you, in the name of your wish the death of your soul.
Antonio. Reflect and tremble-it is still time-hereafter it will be of no use to retract. Rafael. Signor Colleague, she is obstinate. Let me talk to her a moment alone. Domingo. No, I shall take that task upon myself. Signor Rafael, you forget that you have a report to draw up.
Antonio. We cannot break through the rules of the Maria Valdez, I ask you, are you a witch?
Holy Office. For the last time,
Mariquita. For the last time-I am not.-How obstinate he is!
Antonio. Wretched woman! I wash my hands of you; your blood be upon your "That if the own head. The forty-eighth article of the Code of Interrogatories says, accused should persist in his or her denial, and that the accusations should not be altogether devoid of verbal or written proof, the president ought, in order to confirm them, to apply the torture to the accused."
Mariquita. The torture! Jesus! Maria! You are then going to tear me as a carder tears the wool!-Signors Licentiates, take pity on a poor innocent girl. I conjure you not to put me to death by torture. Shut me up in a dungeon-deprive me of the light of the sun, but do not kill me; do not torture me!
Rafael. Signor Antonio, have pity on her youth!
Domingo. She is innocent, Signor Colleague. Have a little compassion on her. Antonio. I can only listen to the rule.-Pedro Garcias, torturer, come forth. (The executioner appears in the back scene.)
Mariquita. Oh! do not say so!-Mercy, mercy!-Look upon me at least. (She rushes forward and embraces Antonio's knees.)
Antonio (opening his eyes, which had been closed during the dialogue.) Ah!
Rafael. Signor, have pity.-But what's the matter with you?
Antonio (in a trembling voice). I know you well-you are come to lead me to hellyou have stripped off your nuptial robe, and I see the parched skin of the devil. I am
then already in hell-all the masses in the world, and Saint Anthony himself, cannot save me from it. (Falls senseless.)
Rafael. He is mad!
Domingo (to the Familiars.) Carry him to his cell.-(Aside to Mariquita.) Fear nothing, my dear child, you shall not be put to the torture.
Rafael (aside to Mariquita.) Don't be afraid. It is not for persons made like you that these terrible instruments were designed. (To the Familiars.) Lead her out; give her a good chamber, but do not allow any one to speak to her.
Domingo (aside to Mariquita.) Beware of Rafael.-Trust to me; I will do every thing in my power for you.
Rafael (aside to Mariquita.) Put no confidence in Domingo-he is an old hypocrite. I feel a great interest for you-Adieu, my daughter (pats her on the cheek,) I shall prove your friend-Farewell!-(Aside as he goes out,) I shall take care to hinder you from seeing her.
Domingo (going out.) I shall prevent you from going near her, old satyr, or I shall forfeit my cassock. [Mariquita is led away.
Mathematics for Practica! Men; being a Common-place Book of Principles, Theorems, Rules, and Tables, in various departments of pure and mixed Mathematics, with their most useful applications, especially to the Pursuits of Surveyors, Architects, and Civil Engineers. By Olinthus Gregory, L.D.D. London. 1821. Baldwin, Cradock and Joy.
The establishment and spread of Mechanics' Institutes, as might have been expected, has called forth a number of scientific publications, written expressly for the use of mechanics. This is one of them. The book, however, does not correspond with its title-page. To a mechanic, one-half of it is useless, the other half unintelligible. Few mechanics are so ignorant as to require to be taught the four fundamental operations of arithmetic: few will even be so profoundly skilled as to be able to comprehend the abstruse formulæ of dynamics. Many parts of this book relate to speculations, which few men, give them as much leisure, and take as much pains to instruct them as you please, can ever understand. It is the extreme of folly to imagine that mechanics, in general, with their scanty means and leisure, can ever fathom such depths; and besides, if they could, their labour would be lost, inasmuch as its result would be incapable of any practical application. The first hundred pages contain imperfect and useless treatises on arithmetic and algebra, the remainder is an omnium gatherum syllabus. There is one chapter in the book which must be excepted from this sweeping censure, and that is an Essay on Isometrical Perspective. It was originally written and published by Professor Farish, in the first volume of the Cambridge Philosophical Transactions, and is the only good paper that ever appeared in that medley of Cambridge philosophy, from which it is here copied verbatim. The substance of this Essay the Professor is in the habit of annually delivering, at the commencement of his lectures on experimental philosophy. Its design is to give a plain and intelligible method of representing machinery. A more useful chapter could not have been given to the mechanic. Had this book been all written in the same spirit, what an invaluable treasure it would have been to the mechanic!